On 7 July 1965, “The Beatles” gave a voice to the unsung, silent desire of almost every human being, when they released their smashing single “All you need is love”.
Or did they?
I am not saying that being in-love, married or in some sort of relationship is the ultimate pinnacle of happiness, but most people do seem to long for “that someone” or “that feeling”.
Romance leaves its fingerprints quite clearly for all to see: A girlfriend will have that spark in her eye, talk about him all the time. Your mate will buy her flowers, send her texts, stay home because she asks. You can observe it in the way they look at each other. The question is, what happens when the initial “romance” wears off, the sexual tension fades, and what’s left are two human beings who now have to keep working at it if they want to make it last?
Does true love really exist? The better question is do we really know what true love means?
The first real idea that we form of love is probably our immediate surroundings and circumstances where we are confronted by the behavior of our parents, family and friends. We also watch movies like “The Notebook”, “Titanic”, “A walk to remember”, “Walk the line”, “Sweet November”, “You’ve got mail”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Casablanca”, “Gone with the wind”. We read books written by Nora Roberts, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Danielle Steel, or get engrossed by titles like “50 shades of Grey” and “Jane Eyre”.
These books and movies all portray true-love as this breathtaking, heart-stopping moment when you first lay eyes on someone, or as a passionate flame that will always burn; disguised as a “I-hate-you-you-irritate-me-I-could-never-like-you” relationship. The idea of love is portrayed as a connection of mind, body and soul that overtakes you, makes you feel delirious, makes the world spin. It’s shown as emotions that you just can’t control, that leads you to that one moment where you just know he or she is “The One”.
You listen to your family and friends talk about love, you think about your previous relationship, and slowly you build a puzzle in your mind of what love’s supposed to look like.
Suddenly you meet someone…. You just walked up the stairs and you saw him/her standing there and your heart stops, you can barely focus. You feel like you’re walking on air, but as you get to know the person those initial feelings wear off and you find yourself after another mediocre date asking: “What was I thinking?”. You will meet someone again, be friends for a while and as you become better acquainted see all the wonderful qualities that you want in a spouse or lover, yet sometimes something feel missing or it feels like other people still prickle your interest and you wonder: “This person has everything I could ever want in someone, why would I want anything more?”
Do movies and books simply give us an ideological picture of love that doesn’t truly exist? Do we confuse love with lust or do we simply get bored to quickly and forget that love takes hard work. Why do people cheat? Are they truly unhappy and unfulfilled or are they simply disillusioned. A few views on the matter:
As the years pass your lover, wife/husband will not be as enticing as that first few months. You will have to get up each day and decide to love that person anew, and ask yourself what you can do today to show your lover you still appreciate them and find them interesting. You have to work at the relationship everyday to keep the “spark” alive. It will not always be a “wide-eyed and bushy-tailed” situation, get used to it and “man-up”.
If the initial passion, romance and interest will eventually wane, why does it matter at all? You can simply choose someone who possesses the qualities you find redeeming, who doesn’t irritate you too much, who will remember to bring you flowers every now and again, who loves you and whom you love back but in a non complicated unmessy way that just generally makes you happy.
When you meet the person you will just know that it is the “one”, or somewhere along the line you will realize that the specific person is the one.
if it isn’t enough that one has to consider all of that, and whether it is love or lust, one can also have a condition called “Limerence” which is an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated.
Recent studies also show that a woman’s love is fickle, because they thrive on attention: As soon as their own relationship starts to wane, they can quickly fall in-love with another charmer even if they have been in a long term relationship.
What if you are a driven passionate person, who just wants another passionate being to raise 3 kids with? Is it too much to ask, does it even exist or are you doomed to a life of disappointment and broken relationships, unless you make yourself smaller so you hand can fit into another person’s.
There are also countless articles about what time to have the “right” relationship. Apparently your twenties is a bad time for a relationship, since you are still growing and changing? But what about your 30’s and 40’s when you change jobs, kids grow up, you make new friends, face new challenges? Don’t you change too?
If we have to consider all of this, is there really such a thing as true-love or do we simply have to learn to co-exist with another human being? Can someone ever for fill you JUST ENOUGH, that you never feel like another no matter how enticing can ever rip you away from your partner?
If passion fades, why do we still look away from our partner, or try to find that “feeling” of a lightning strike or chemistry attack? Why aren’t we more sensible about love, relationships and feelings.
If it doesn’t exist why do producers and writers keep selling the idea of breathless moments to us?
How, with all these considerations, do you choose someone to spend the rest of your life with?
And if it’s so damn hard: Why do we try at all?
Why don’t we just learn to be alone?